Causes of Ammonium Nitrate Explosions and Handling Mechanisms – Case Study of the 2020 Beirut Lebanon Explosion

Authors

  • Dyota Arkka Gatya Energy Security, Faculty of Defense Management, Republic Indonesia Defense University, Jakarta
  • Rudy Laksmono W Energy Security, Faculty of Defense Management, Republic Indonesia Defense University, Jakarta
  • Imam Supriyadi Energy Security, Faculty of Defense Management, Republic Indonesia Defense University, Jakarta

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.55227/ijhess.v3i6.1102

Keywords:

Beirut Explosion; Explosion evaluation; Ammonium nitrate; Handling and storage of ammonium nitrate; Disposal of ammonium nitrate

Abstract

Ammonium nitrate (AN) is a chemical that is widely used in industry, for example as fertilizer in agriculture, explosives in military and civilian applications (for example in mining) or as a basic ingredient in solid propellants. However, as a dangerous chemical, storing ammonium nitrate can cause problems if not properly. The characteristics of AN have been studied extensively that pure AN is stable at room temperature but can explode when mixed with impurities in a closed space or in the presence of a heat/flame source nearby. This was proven in the explosion disaster at the Port of Beirut, Lebanon in 2020. This article was written using a systematic literature review (SLR) approach, where the data used came from articles published on Google Scholar, DOAJ, Emerald, Springer, and Science Direct with relevant keywords according to the topic. This article aims to evaluate and find out the causes of the ammonium nitrate explosion disaster in Beirut, as well as provide an analysis of suggestions for handling mechanisms so that a similar incident does not happen again. Evaluation of the cause of the explosion at the Port of Beirut, with fire/heat burning down part of the warehouse. An that was stored in a port warehouse mixed with other goods caused a large explosion which was started by a small fire in the warehouse. The explosion caused the death of 220 people, injured 6,500 people, formed a crater 140 meters deep and an earthquake measuring 3.3 on the Richter scale. This explosion is classified as the third most destructive urban explosion of all time, after the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II. As a precaution, proper handling and storage of AN is required in accordance with international regulations. To reduce the potential danger of explosions without causing significant risks, this is done through an appropriate disposal mechanism.

References

Berger, “Evaluation of the Experience of International Accidents Related to the Storage and Handling of Ammonium Nitrate Fertilisers,”Hadmernok, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 129–145, 2022, doi: 10.32567/hm.2022.2.9.

A. Farahat, N. El-Kork, RP Singh, and F. Jing, “Possible Overestimation of Nitrogen Dioxide Outgassing during the Beirut 2020 Explosion,”Remote Sens., vol. 14, no. 24, 2022, doi: 10.3390/rs14246377.

A. J. Hassel, M. Hagenlocher, and J. O. Connor, “Beirut Explosion,” pp. 1–26, 2021.

A. Kerbage, SF Haddad, M. Zoghbi, T. Souaid, E. Haroun, and A. Zoghbi, “Beirut Blast 2020: Cries and Bloodshed at the Busiest Hospital,”Disaster Med. Public Health Prep., vol. 17, no. December, 2023, doi: 10.1017/dmp.2021.350.

AM Djerdjev, P. Priyananda, J. Gore, JK Beattie, C. Neto, and BS Hawkett, "The mechanism of the spontaneous detonation of ammonium nitrate in reactive grounds,"J Environ. Chem. Eng., vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 281–288, 2018, doi: 10.1016/j.jece.2017.12.003.

A. Shakoor, SM Shahzad, TH Farooq, and F. Ashraf, “Future of ammonium nitrate after Beirut (Lebanon) explosion,”Environ. Pollut., vol. 267, no. 3, p. 115615, 2020, doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.115615.

AMT Thomé, LF Scavarda, and AJ Scavarda, “Conducting systematic literature review in operations management,”Prod. Plans. Controls, vol. 27, no. 5, pp. 408–420, 2016, doi: 10.1080/09537287.2015.1129464.

A.V. Jensen,Hazards of Chemical Rockets and Propellants Handbook: Vol. 2. Solid Rocket Propellant Processing, Handling, Storage and Transportation, Vol 2. Springfield, VA: National Technical Information Services, U S. Department of Commerce, 1972.

B. Kitchenham, O. Pearl Brereton, D. Budgen, M. Turner, J. Bailey, and S. Linkman, “Systematic literature reviews in software engineering - A systematic literature review,”Inf. Softw. Technol., vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 7–15, 2009, doi: 10.1016/j.infsof.2008.09.009.

BT Fedroff,Encyclopedia of Explosives and Related Items, Vol 1. Picatinny Arsenal: Dover, NJ, 1960.

C. Okoli, “A guide to conducting a standalone systematic literature review,”Commun. Assoc. Inf. Syst., vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 879–910, 2015, doi: 10.17705/1cais.03743.

ET Rother, "Systematic literature review X narrative review,"ACTA Paul. Enferm., vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 7–8, 2007, doi: 10.1590/s0103-21002007000200001.

F. Malak, A. Rifai, R. Baydoun, B. Nsouli, and D. Dimitrov, “Chemical safety and security after Beirut Port explosion: Part1 - State of the art of legal framework and authorization policy,”Saf. Sci., vol. 144, no. August, p. 105456, 2021, doi: 10.1016/j.ssci.2021.105456.

G. Yuet al., “Comprehensive study on the catastrophic explosion of ammonium nitrate stored in the warehouse of Beirut port,” Process Saf. Environ. Prot., vol. 152, pp. 201–219, 2021, doi: 10.1016/j.psep.2021.05.030.

G. Valsamos, M. Larcher, and F. Casadei, “Beirut explosion 2020: A case study for a large-scale urban blast simulation,”Saf. Sci., vol. 137, no. February, p. 105190, 2021, doi: 10.1016/j.ssci.2021.105190.

J. Szczygielska and M. Frączak, “Good practices in managing the risks associated with the storage, handling and transportation of ammonium nitrate (V) in the light of the Beirut explosion in 2020 w 2020 roku,” no. V, pp. 50–57, 2022, doi: 10.22211/matwys/0223.

J. W. Mellor,A Comprehensive Treatise on Inorganic and Theoretical Chemistry, 2nd ed. London: Longmans Green, 1992.

K. Dysz, B. Poszwald, A. Kwak, and A. Dylong, “Thermal Stability of Ammonium Nitrate in Two-Component Mixtures with Powdered and Fine-Grained Materials,”Mater. Res. Proc., vol. 34, pp. 127–138, 2023, doi: 10.21741/9781644902691-16.

KD Shah, “Ammonium nitrate — decomposition, fire and explosive behavior,” no. October, pp. 2–6, 2018.

M. Tian, P. Deng, Y. Zhang, and MP Salmador, “How does culture influence innovation? A systematic literature review,"Manag. Decis., vol. 56, no. 5, pp. 1088–1107, 2018, doi: 10.1108/MD-05-2017-0462.

MK Linnenluecke, M. Marrone, and AK Singh, “Conducting systematic literature reviews and bibliometric analyses,”Aust. J. Manag., vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 175–194, 2020, doi: 10.1177/0312896219877678.

MS Hajjar, GM Atallah, H. Faysal, B. Atiyeh, J. Bakhach, and AE Ibrahim, “the 2020 Beirut Explosion: a Healthcare Perspective,”Ann. Burns Fire Disasters, vol. 34, no. 4, pp. 293–300, 2021.

N. Hsu and F. Doux, “There are several projects to manufacture ¨green ammonia¨ where hydrogen is obtained via hydrolysis of water and the hydrocarbons´ reforming is not required. In such a process, especially if electricity used comes from renewable energy, ammonia synthesis," 2020.

N. Souaiby and M. El-Hussein, “Beirut Explosion, the full story,”Mediterr. J. Emerg. Med., vol. 28, no. November 2020, pp. 4–7, 2020, doi: 10.26738/MJEM.2017/MJEM28.2020/MH.EAE.100820.

PCP & C. of AGI David Moore, “Port of Beirut Explosion – Analysis and Impacts,” no. May, 2022, [Online]. Available: https://engineering.purdue.edu/P2SAC/news/events/2022-spring-p2sac-conference/Port of Beirut Explosion - Analysis and Impacts - David Moore.pdf

Q. Wang, L. Zhang, L. Wang, and L. Bu, “A practical method for predicting and analyzing the consequences of ammonium nitrate explosion accidents adjacent to densely populated areas,”Heliyon, vol. 9, no. 5, p. e15616, 2023, doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e15616.

S. Al-Hajj, HR Dhaini, S. Mondello, H. Kaafarani, F. Kobeissy, and RG DePalma, “Beirut Ammonium Nitrate. Blast: Analysis, Review, and Recommendations,”Front. Public Heal., vol. 9, no. June, pp. 1–11, 2021, doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2021.657996.

S. Cagnina, P. Rotureau, and C. Adamo, "Study of incompatibility of ammonium nitrate and its mechanism of decomposition by theoretical approach,"Chem. Eng. Trans., vol. 31, pp. 823–828, 2013, doi: 10.3303/CET1331138.

S. Chaturvedi and PN Dave, “Review on Thermal Decomposition of Ammonium Nitrate,”J. Energ. Mater., vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 1–26, 2013, doi: 10.1080/07370652.2011.573523.

S. ur Rehmanet al., “Ammonium nitrate is a risk for the environment: A case study of Beirut (Lebanon) chemical explosion and the effects on the environment,” Ecotoxicol. Environ. Saf., vol. 210, no. December 2020, p. 111834, 2021, doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2020.111834.

V. Babrauskas, “Explosions of ammonium nitrate fertilizer in storage or transportation are preventable accidents,”J Hazard. Mater., vol. 304, pp. 134–149, 2016, doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2015.10.040.

WK and R. Ince, “4-august-2020-beirut-ammonium-nitrate-explosion-damage-overview-final-report.pdf.”

W. Pittmanet al., “Lessons to be learned from an analysis of ammonium nitrate disasters in the last 100 years,” J. Hazard. Mater., vol. 280, pp. 472–477, 2014, doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2014.08.037.

Y. Xiao and M. Watson, “Guidance on Conducting a Systematic Literature Review,”J. Plan. Educ. Res., vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 93–112, 2019, doi: 10.1177/0739456X17723971.

Downloads

Published

2024-06-20

How to Cite

Dyota Arkka Gatya, Rudy Laksmono W, & Imam Supriyadi. (2024). Causes of Ammonium Nitrate Explosions and Handling Mechanisms – Case Study of the 2020 Beirut Lebanon Explosion. International Journal Of Humanities Education and Social Sciences, 3(6). https://doi.org/10.55227/ijhess.v3i6.1102

Issue

Section

Social Science